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Who Demoralized the Nation’s Teachers?

Who is responsible for the decades-long war being waged on public schools and public school teachers in the United States?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Who is responsible for the widespread teaching exodus? Who demoralized America’s teachers, the professionals who work tirelessly for low wages in oftentimes poor working conditions? Who smeared and discouraged an entire profession, one of the noblest of professions?

Let’s see:

Federal legislation, including No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

George W. Bush; Margaret Spellings; Rod Paige (who likened the NEA to terrorists); the Congressional enablers of NCLB; Sandy Kress (the mastermind behind the harsh, punitive and ultimately failed NCLB).

Erik Hanushek, the economist who has long advocated for firing the teachers whose students get low test scores; the late William Sanders, the agricultural economist who created the methodology to rank teachers by their students’ scores; Raj Chetty, who produced a study with two other economists claiming that “one good teacher” would enhance the lifetime earnings of a class by more than $200,000; the reporters at the Los…

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Posted by on December 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Reader: There Is No Such Thing as a “Public Charter School”

Charter schools are not public schools. They are designed to make money for someone and in many cases bring back segregation, a sneaky manipulating way to bring about the separation of different racial groups so they do not mix.

“Charter schools are corporations run by private parties. Taxpayers have no say in how their tax dollars are spent in charter schools.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

A reader whose nom de plume is quickwrit explained in a recent comment that there is no such thing as a “public charter school.” In addition to the evidence supplied, bear in mind that several federal courts and the National Labor Relations Board have ruled that charter schools are not “state actors,” meaning not public schools. Even charter schools have sought to avoid accountability for their actions by insisting in court that they are not “state actors,” but private organizations with a government contract. If receiving public funds made your public agency, then every college and university that accepts federal funds would be public, not private, as would Lockheed Martin, Merck, and other corporations.

Quickwrit writes:

The impartial, non-political watchdog Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education has issued a report warning that so much taxpayer money is being skimmed away from America’s genuine public schools and…

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Posted by on December 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

The Proud Boys Are Menacing School Boards, Town Councils

The Proud Boys, an ultra-radical, violent, and dangerous white nationalist militia, criminal gang (there is no difference), is a member of Traitor Trump’s illegal Secret Police Force (known as the Gestapo in Germany during WWII), and they are working hard to intimidate public school boards.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The New York Times reports that the Proud Boys, the white nationalist group of the far-right, is now using its members to protest mask mandates at local school board meetings and other local events. Their presence will probably cause some people to leave their school board position or not to run. But their presence makes it all the more imperative that concerned parents and other citizens run for school board, show up for school board meetings, and support candidates who want to make local schools better.

They showed up last month outside the school board building in Beloit, Wis., to protest school masking requirements.

They turned up days later at a school board meeting in New Hanover County, N.C., before a vote on a mask mandate.

They also attended a gathering in Downers Grove, Ill., where parents were trying to remove a nonbinary author’s graphic novel from public school…

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Posted by on December 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Carol Burris: NPE Builds an Archive of Charter Scandals

Are you curious about all the publicly funded, private sector Charter School scandals? Thanks to laws that allow these schools to be secretive and opaque and avoid following the same transparency laws that REAL public schools must follow, laws designed to protect OUR children, there is a lot of opportunity for fraud. Click this link and learn about the epidemic of fraud and crimes caused by too many of these Charter Schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Carol Burris is executive director of the Network for Public Education.

She writes:

For the past four years, the Network for Public Education has collected and posted charter school scandals from across the United States on a special page of its website entitled Another Day Another Charter School Scandal which you can find here.

NPE has now turned that page into an interactive research tool, allowing you to find a collection of stories by state, by scandal type and by keyword. For example, if you want to search any published story on scandals associated with Success Academy, just type in Success Academy into the query box and ten stories pop up.

Looking for stories regarding charter theft or fraud? Use the drop down menu and 177 stories appear.

At the beginning of the month, we load up all of the stories we found during the prior month. Check back…

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Posted by on November 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Stephen Sawchuk: What is Critical Race Theory and Why Is It Under Attack?

Who is behind the attack on Critical Race Theory?
Answer: Conservative Reptilian Trumpers.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Stephen Sawchuk is a staff writer for Education Week. He wrote this article back in May, and I missed it. I think it’s one of the clearest, most balanced explanations of CRT that I have read.

Sawchuk writes:

Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.

The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures aredebating billsseeking to ban its use in the classroom.

In truth, the divides are not nearly as neat as they may seem. The events of the last decade have increased public awareness about things like housing segregation, the impacts of criminal justice policy in the 1990s, and the legacy of enslavement on Black Americans. But there is much less consensus on…

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Posted by on November 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Steve Nelson: The Campaign to Destroy Public Education

Do you really want publicly funded (from the local taxes/fees we, the working class, pays) private sector charter schools that do not answer to anyone by their CEO and stockholders?

Do you really want to get rid of democratically elected school boards that are responsible to watch over public school districts, and our children, and who have to answer to local voters and parents?

Donald Trump is a private sector CEO. Do you want someone like him deciding how OUR children are treated in schools and what they are taught?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steve Nelson, a retired educator, describes the calculated and underhanded effort to destroy public education, a ruse that proceeds by stealth and loaded language.

He begins:

The same fine folks who brought us the Critical Race Theory (CRT) scare tactic to win the Virginia gubernatorial election are now poised to bring our public education system to its knees and then put it out of its misery.

In an alarming New York Times column, Michelle Goldberg recounts an exchange with Christopher Rufo, the manipulative wizard behind the weaponizing of CRT for broad political purposes.  Rufo gleefully admits that the CRT gambit, combined with widespread pandemic frustration, provides a perfect storm for completion of the decades-long conservative goal of weakening and effectively eliminating “government schools.”

Conservatives have similarly weaponized the phrase “government schools” as an emotional trigger intended to disingenuously characterize public schools as institutional agents of a sinister plot to…

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Posted by on November 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

West Virginia: Board Approves 2 For-Profit Online Charter Schools

“Online charters are known for low academic performance, low graduation rates, and high attrition. A study by CREDO found that students in online charter schools learn almost nothing.”

Knowing that, why did West Virginia approve two of these publicly funded (that means the taxes people pay to support public schools) for-profit, online charter schools?

Diane Ravitch's blog

West Virginia recently passed a charter school law, breaking its promise to the state’s teachers. A new board was created to authorize charters. That board just approved two for-profit online charter schools. One is run by K12 Inc., which changed its name to Stride. The other will be run by Ron Packard’s Accel, which operates low-performing charters in Ohio. Packard was the first CEO of K12 Inc., where he was paid $5 million a year.

Online charters are known for low academic performance, low graduation rates, and high attrition. A study by CREDO found that students in online charter schools learn almost nothing.

While findings vary for each student, the results in CREDO’s report show that the majority of online charter students had far weaker academic growth in both math and reading compared to their traditional public school peers. To conceptualize this shortfall, it would equate to a student losing…

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Posted by on November 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

I Triggered Bill Maher By Writing About Standardized Testing and White Supremacy 

I Triggered Bill Maher By Writing About Standardized Testing and White Supremacy 

It appears that Bill Maher may have looked in a mirror and didn’t like what he saw, that he might be a racist.

gadflyonthewallblog

Bill Maher is mad at me.

 
And I’ve never even met the man.  


I guess you could say we’re from different worlds.


He’s on the West Coast. I’m on the East.


He’s a political comedian. I’m a public school teacher.


He’s a multimillionaire. I can barely make ends meet.


What could I possibly do to provoke the ire of this man so much so that he took aim at me on his HBO TV show?


As near as I can tell, it started when I wrote a blog.


Then people read that blog.


It got popular and was republished throughout the Internet.


And Maher disagrees with what I wrote.


In fact, the very idea annoyed him as a prime example of namby-pamby liberals taking their agenda too far.


What did I write in the article?


Only that standardized testing is a tool of white supremacy.


In fact…

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Posted by on November 3, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

My View of the Libertarian Attack on Public Schools

We the People should fear and fight libertarianism and its faction in the Catholic Church that wants to get rid of America’s public schools so they are in control of what our children will learn.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The WSJ article by law professor Philip Hamburger asserting that public schools are unconstitutional relies on dubious assertions about the history of public schools. As a historian of education who has written about these issues, I disagree with his analysis.

Hamburger’s central critique of the public schools is that they were created by nativists out of fear of Catholicism and their central purpose was to homogenize all children and mold them into Protestants. He repeatedly asserts that the very idea of the public school was shaped by hostility to Catholics.

The earliest public schools, called “common schools,” were organized in the early 19th-century in small towns and villages by families who wanted their children to gain literacy and numeracy. The parents and communities who established common schools were not thinking about stamping out Catholicism. Families wanted their children to be able to read the Bible, and many wanted their sons…

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Posted by on October 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Texas: Insanity Erupts at School Board Meetings Over Critical Race Theory

More evidence of the Chief Traitor dropped dead today, that madness is not going away.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Under the combined influence of Donald Trump and Governor Gregg Abbott, a considerable number of Texas parents have become convinced that their public schools have become hotbeds of Marxism and malignant “critical race theory.” Any discussion of racism is interpreted to mean CRT. Opponents of CRT oppose any recognition of racism in the past or present. This story in The Texas Monthly documents the mass hysteria now sweeping the Republican Party.

It describes a meeting in one of the state’s most successful schools: high test scores, high graduation rates, high college acceptance rates, award-wining teams. Yet the parents are furious because the school hired a diversity consultant from Trachers College, Columbia University!

About 99 percent of the 2021 senior class at Westlake High School was accepted to college, superintendent Tom Leonard tells the audience at the June 22 meeting of Eanes’s board, recapping another year of high achievement. The robotics…

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Posted by on October 19, 2021 in Uncategorized